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  1. Default Wichita KS to Phoenix AZ JULY 2015

    Planning a RT from Wichita to Phoenix Round Trip. 4 days to get there hoping to go thru OKC and Albuquerque on the way and return thru Toas and CO Springs with 4-5 days on return. Just looking for fun little stops/must see and do's. We like most everything and there seems to be alot to offer on both legs. We definitely have a daytrip planned for the Grand Canyon in/out of Phoenix. (Im sure that is not enough time but have to see it) What places have you really enjoyed and where would you not bother stopping again. I realize that is subjective but we can make and educated decision with input from others. All 3 traveling are adults -50's and 80's. Thanks for any help and I will gladly answer questions if I missed any important details. Thanks! We have Trip Tiks and maps from AAA. Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    The GC is not a day trip from Phoenix - I'd recommend you dedicate a stop either on the way to or from Phoenix. You need close to a full day there to see it. I'd plan on an overnight in Flagstaff, returning to Flagstaff for the next night.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Agreeing with GLC here -- Phoenix to the Grand Canyon is about 4-5 hours ONE WAY.

    Since it appears you are heading toward Phoenix via I-35, I-40, and perhaps I-17, there are a few interesting stops. OKC, of course, has the OKC Memorial. Between OKC and Albuquerque, there is the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton/Weatherford area.

    In the Texas panhandle, there is a neat rest area near McLean with a TX museum. At Groom, there is the largest cross at the "Inspiration" exit. Outside of Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch -- a bunch of old Cadillacs sitting nose-down in the dirt, and people can have a good time spray painting them.

    In New Mexico, you can drive through Tucumcari, which still has remnants of the old Route 66. In ABQ, there is lots to see and do. We found the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to be extremely interesting, and the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park had a lovely walk down to a very brown river. There is also the Petroglyph National Monument in the area.

    It's about 1100 miles from Wichita to Phoenix, which is around 3 days drive (350-400 mi per day). You won't have time to do everything if you want to drive this in 4 days, but you can pick and choose according to what YOU want to do. Adding in the GC would make up that extra day. If you don't mind 500 mile days, you could drive to the GC in 2 days, spend the 3rd day seeing the park, and then the 4th day driving down to Phoenix.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Don't Cover the Same Ground Twice

    One of the best ways to make the most of any RoadTrip is to do a true 'loop' rather than use the same roads in both directions. Even though you plan on coming back a different way, there is still a large segment between Albuquerque and at least Holbrook (and possibly Phoenix) where you'll be covering the same ground in both directions. Instead, consider leaving I-40 on your westbound leg at Santa Rita NM and taking US-54 down to Alamagordo. This will take you past the Valley of Fires Recreation Area and put you on US-70 past White Sands National Monument. At Las Cruces, pick up I-10 for the rest of the drive to Phoenix with possible stops at Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, and/or the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

    I would echo the others' statements about the Grand Canyon not being a day trip from Phoenix, but there's no need for it to be. With five days to get back to Wichita from Phoenix, it's easy enough to include it on the return drive. When you're ready to leave Phoenix start up I-17 but leave that highway at Exit 298 and take AZ-179 into Sedona and then take Alt-AZ-89 north through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. Spend the evening there, and then do a loop through the Grand Canyon by heading north on US-89 to Cameron, AZ-64 west and south through the national park, and US-180 back to Flagstaff and then head out eastbound on I-40 to Albuquerque and I-25 up to Taos and Colorado Springs.

    On last stop I'd suggest on the way back east is in Greensburg KS. This is a town that was virtually destroyed by a tornado a number of years back. The people there, rather than just give up, rebuilt there town on a renewable, green basis. Besides it is the home to the world's biggest hand-dug well.


  5. Default

    When you are in Albuquerque you've got to visit the Old Town - a really lovely place to see with its Native American heritage. And there is the tramway that goes to the top of the Sandia Peak, which is really high and has great views. Taos is a really stunning place and worth stopping at. You'll see the old Taos County Courthouse and all sorts of things that look straight out of a country and western movie. The Taos Pueblo is interesting if a little touristy.

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